Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Endangered Species Poster Contest

1st Place Poster by Coby A. (Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel)

The results are in for our Endangered Species Poster Contest.  Special thanks to Ms. Sarah McRae, the HES mom and North Carolina Endangered Species Biologist, who not only brought the contest to my attention, but who also helped Dr. Swainey, Ms. Hamlett, and myself with the judging.  In all, we had 119 posters entered and raised a lot of awareness of the plight of endangered species in North Carolina and the rest of the world.  

First place went to fifth grader Coby A. of Ms. Beneville's class.  Third grader Maggie S. of Mr. Nelson's won second place, and Rawlins T. of Ms. Lovingood's fifth grade class took third. Honorable mentions were earned by fifth graders Evelyn F. and Kaylee F., and by third grader Don W.  Coby's first place poster has now been sent to the North Carolina Zoo to be judged along with entries from throughout the state. Good luck, Coby! 

2nd Place Poster by Maggie S. (Leatherback Sea Turtle)

3rd Place Poster by Rawlins T. (Cheetah)

Honorable Mention, Don W. (American Alligator)

Honorable Mention, Evelyn F. (Ocelot)

Honorable Mention, Kaylee F. (African Elephant)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

2nd Grade Leaf (and Sponge) Prints

Artwork by Carly C.

Emphasizing the difference between real texture and implied texture in art, I showed the second graders how one can become the other through carefully printing with a textured object - in this case leaves.  The students carefully brushed white tempura paint onto the vein side - the side with the most texture - of different kinds and sizes of leaves, placed them on black 12 by 18 inch construction paper, and then transferred the paint onto the paper by placing a piece of scrap over the leaf and rubbing. I asked the students to try and improve their prints with each attempt, taking into account how much paint they were using, how hard they were pressing, etc, with the goal of producing prints that really showed the texture of the leaf.  I also asked them to consider the overall balance of their compositions.  On a second day, the students surrounded their leaves with fall colors applied by printing (since this was meant to be strictly a printing project) with pieces of sponges.

Artwork by Jada L.

Artwork by Alex G.

Artwork by Eben P.

Artwork by Madeline D.

Artwork by Fluery N.

5th Grade Rock Art

Artwork by Caleb H.

Our 5th graders created some intricate petroglyphs after learning about some of the most ancient of arts - rock art.  We toured the famous Lascaux Cave and its famous, 20,000-year-old paintings and then fast forwarded to a thousand years ago and the rock art of the Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) rock art of the American Four Corners region (where Mr. O. has done a lot of poking around in the canyons searching for rock and ruins!).

These petroglyphs were made by rolling out and cutting slabs of clay, then firing them for just a couple of hours on our kiln's lowest temperature setting.  This hardens the clay enough to make it a little more durable but not so much that the carving is next to impossible (I've learned from experience!).  After painting the smoothest surface of their clay with black acrylic paint (tempura peels off) and allowing it to dry between classes, the 5th graders used push pins to scratch in their symbols.  Words weren't allowed, though students had the choice of using more modern symbols if desired.  Most chose to make their petroglyphs appear more like the real thing and stuck with traditional Native American rock art symbols, though the occasional Duke or UNC logo made an appearance!

Artwork by Katie P.

Artwork by Ryan B.

Artwork by Erin S.

Artwork by Miles B.